In our previous blog, the CLEP study guide experts at SpeedyPrep gave you tips for managing college-related stress. We’ll continue on that topic here, giving you even more ways to defeat stress, get better grades, and make the most of your college experience.
Know your schedule for the day.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Preach, Benjamin Franklin. If you don’t have a plan set for your day, you’re less likely to study and work on homework and more likely to tweet on your bed, take a long nap, or go to happy hour a little too early.
Always have a “non-negotiable” plan for your day—a list of tasks that you must complete before you can nap, hang out with friends, or head to your favorite watering hole. Stack these tasks as early as possible during the day so you have plenty of time to get them done. If you run a little late, you still have some extra breathing room to get things done at a reasonable hour. If you get your tasks done early, that’s great! Enjoy your free time however you please.
Whatever the case, be sure to set a plan and stick to it, whether it’s a daily plan, monthly plan, or semester plan. Even if you change up your plan as you go, at least you have a plan to start with.
Don’t forget to pursue your passions.
When you become a full-time student (or a full-time anything), it’s easy to forget that you’re a human being with passions, hobbies, and interests. With so many things to do, so many assignments to complete, and so many textbook pages to read, it can be hard to find time for the things that bring you happiness, peace, and fulfillment.
We can’t wax poetic too much on this topic: make time for the things you love most. Even if you only get a half-hour a week to work on your drawing skills, a few minutes a day to noodle around on your guitar, or a Saturday every few weeks to hike out in nature, it’s important that you make time for the activities that bring you inspiration. These activities will naturally decrease your stress levels, and leave you feeling refreshed and happy. That positive energy will rub off on your academics, too.
Understand why you’re stressed.
Sometimes, college-related stress isn’t as obvious as a big pile of homework or rowdy neighbors in your dorm—it can manifest itself in more subtle ways. Maybe it’s the isolation that comes with being away from home for the first time and not having many friends, or maybe it’s the fact that your night-owl college lifestyle is affecting your ability to get your schoolwork done. Maybe it’s simply the fact that all of your laundry is dirty or wrinkled and you haven’t had a legitimate home-cooked meal in months.
Whatever the case, it’s important to slow down, take a break, and really get to the bottom of what is stressing you out in the college world. You can’t make a plan to relieve your stress if you don’t know what you’re stressing about—so take a day off, ponder what’s throwing you off your game, and make the changes necessary to get yourself back on track.
Don’t overload yourself.
College classes are a huge challenge by themselves. Add in jobs, campus organizations, and all the other time-consuming aspects of life, and you could be stacking your plate a little too full for your own good.
When you juggle too many things at once, some things are going to fall through the cracks—a failed homework assignment here or a late paper there could be a sign that you’re taking on too much responsibility.
In the college world, always put your classes and your grades first—then add on other activities if you have time. If your grades begin to slip because you just don’t have enough time in the day, it’s perfectly reasonable to ask for less hours at your job or take on less responsibility in your student organization. Your bosses and peers will understand that, as a full-time college student, getting good grades and earning a degree is your top priority.
Get a massage. Relax on the beach. Sleep in. If you’re feeling stress, take the edge off with a little relaxation and self-love.
Get the support you need.
Adjusting to the college grind can be difficult—and if you’re a college freshmen leaving home for the first time, it’s easy to become frazzled and stressed out by it all. It’s even easier to feel like you’re isolated and alone—like nobody else is going through the struggle that you are.
In moments like these, it’s time to reach to someone who can offer you emotional support, whether it’s from a parent, a close friend, or a peer support group on your campus. These resources will help you release some frustration, and discover solutions and comfort to help you deal with your stress.
There’s no reason to feel uncomfortable or ashamed by asking for help—a new perspective might be just the thing you need to get back to a stress-free college lifestyle.